For me, “Going to Pieces” was like a wet dream, it was a pastiche of all the aspect of horror that I love and hate, and for ninety minutes, I was enjoying the hell out of myself. It’s true, the horror genre, and horror fans get a bad rap, and both are often demonized by the religious, the media, and any self-righteous parent with a desire to be a celebrity, and “Going to Pieces,” tackles those aspects of the genre along with paying homage to the sub-genre I hold dear to my ripped heart.
There are very few documentaries that celebrate the horror genre, and that’s a damn shame, because like every other genre in the film world, horror has many stories behind them, and “Going to Pieces” is a long overdue look at the rise and fall of the genre. What does that mean? Well, the director McQueen takes a look at the start of the slasher genre, the popularization, the saturation, and the eventual fading away of the fad being resurrected by an overrated horror satire that shall remain nameless.
But even if you’re not a fan of slasher’s I suggest watching “Going to Pieces” because it’s a must for any horror fan. Featured are Felissa Rose from “Sleepaway Camp” who revels in her fame as the infamous Angela declaring “I was the chick with the dick!” And traces the genre back to the late sixties with “Psycho” and on to “Halloween.” There are a slew of guest stints from Tom Savini, John Carpenter, Greg Nicotero, Sean Cunningham, the late Debra Hill, and Betsy Palmer gives a creative and wonderful bio of Mrs. Voorhes! “Going to Pieces” discusses the obscure slashers from the genre and their impact of lack thereof and obviously discusses the famed franchises like “Halloween,” and “Friday the 13th.”
With the aforementioned we also get the origin of Jason’s famous “Ki Ki Ki, Ha Ha Ha!” How did that come about? I’m not telling. Sadly, there’s not a lot of focus on many other films that were cited by fans as the start of the sub-genre, but never featured. Director McQueen glosses over “Dementia 13”, and features “Last House on the Left” but not “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” or “Black Christmas” paying little due to them. Also, one of the caveats that fall under the weight of its intentions is that it spends too much time on Savini boasting of his special effects. And McQueen pays too much homage to “Scream” paying credit to it as one of the greatest when really it just wasn’t as brilliant as people assumed.
Spoofing slashers, how original. But we’re given the nuggets that fans will find especially juicy to which Craven discusses “Nightmare on Elm Street” and admits that he and the producers had three endings for “Nightmare,” meshed them to create the infamous climax, and admit to having no idea what it all meant. In spite of all the caveats, “Going to Pieces” is a chunk of the horror genre that deserves to be watched in all its orgasmic glory.